Dual Language Immersion Program


    Dual Language Immersion Program


    Buenos días! ¿Estás listo para un gran día?
    Good morning! Are you ready for a great day?

    That’s how students in our five elementary Spanish Immersion programs start their day, much like all our other students. Beginning in Kindergarten, students practice their letters, colors and shapes, read books together, and learn how to add and subtract.

    The difference? Immersion students learn almost all their lessons – in Spanish.

    In immersion programs, Spanish is not taught as a separate subject; instead, instruction is delivered in Spanish.

    Onslow County Schools is committed to helping our children become citizens of the world, with an appreciation for people and cultures across the globe. Technology is shrinking the world, and students who are fluent in another language will have incredible advantages over peers who only speak English.

    There are other benefits, too:

    • Students in language immersion programs typically develop greater flexibility in how they learn, including increased memory, superior problem-solving skills and improved attention;
    • Immersion students achieve as well as, or better than, non-immersion peers on tests administered in English that measure verbal and math skills; and,
    • Many large worldwide companies are actively seeking employees who can communicate with ease in at least two languages.

    OCS offers Spanish immersion programs at five elementary schools, and two middle-schools.

    Elementary Spanish Immersion Programs:

    • Clyde Erwin Elementary Magnet School
    • Hunters Creek Elementary
    • Sand Ridge Elementary
    • Carolina Forest International Elementary
    • Stateside Elementary

    Middle Spanish Immersion Programs:

    • Hunters Creek Middle School  (science content taught in Spanish)
    • Swansboro Middle School       (science content taught in Spanish)

    Frequently-Asked Questions about immersion programs:

    What do students in immersion classes learn?

    Students learn the same subject matter set out in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study as their peers in other classes. They follow the same lessons and, in some cases, use the same learning materials – just translated into Spanish.

    How much of students’ days are spent immersed in Spanish?

    Children in K-1 classes spend approximately 90 percent of their day immersed in Spanish and the remainder of their day learning in English.

    In grades 2-5, students are taught approximately 50 percent of their day in Spanish and the remainder in English.

    At the middle school level, students take science in Spanish.  The remainder of their classes are in English. Middle school students in the Spanish immersion program have the potential to earn two high school language credits (Spanish I and II) through credit by demonstrated mastery.

    My child doesn’t speak Spanish at all; how will she know what to do in the classroom?

    Our highly skilled and trained teachers use exaggerated hand and facial expressions to illustrate what they are saying. Songs, stories, and activities help build vocabulary and understanding in Spanish. Language learning is carefully structured to ensure that children understand the lessons.


    Who teaches Spanish immersion classes?

    Our teachers are heritage Spanish speakers. Many come to Onslow County Schools from countries around the world, bringing their diverse backgrounds and experiences to our students.

    Not only have they met the high professional standards of their home country, but they have also met all North Carolina teacher-licensing and certification requirements.

    How does my child get into a Spanish immersion program?

    The number of Spanish language immersion classes available within each school is determined yearly by the projected level of interest. It is preferred that students register for the program during kindergarten registration. This allows school sites to gauge interest and procure heritage speaking teachers.

    Students are chosen on a first come, first serve basis with the exception of Clyde Erwin Elementary Magnet School since it is a district-wide magnet school. Students interested in attending Clyde Erwin Elementary Magnet School must apply through the Onslow County Schools magnet school application process that takes place in the spring. Magnet school students are selected through the lottery process and transportation is provided through a hub system.

    In the event that there is a robust interest in the immersion classes, a lottery process will be utilized. Preference will be given to siblings of students already enrolled in the immersion program.

    Applications and commitment forms are available at the five immersion schools as well as on the OCS and school websites.

    Can my child get into the Spanish immersion program after Kindergarten?

    It is preferred that all students begin in kindergarten. K-1 classes are taught approximately 90% in Spanish and the remainder in English. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the principal.

    My child does not live in any school district offering the Spanish immersion program. Can my child still apply to participate in the program?

    Yes, you may apply for an out-of-district placement for your child to attend a Spanish immersion program at Sand Ridge, Hunters Creek, and Stateside, space permitting. It is recommended that you check with the host school to ensure available space prior to requesting an out-of-district placement through our Student Services department.  Parents must provide transportation for out-of-district placements and complete an Out of District application.

     *As language immersion classes progress through the grades, class sizes often decrease due to student movement out of the area. In these instances, it may be necessary to have combination classes and/or combine program sites where numbers are low.  World language standards are progressive and therefore a combination class is conducive to the continued development of the target language.


    If you are interested in learning more about our Dual Language Immersion classrooms, please contact:

    Susanne Long

    910 455-2211 ext.20212


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